For my research project, I have decided to investigate the following question:
Has groupthink become prevalent in Australian universities?
Groupthink refers to the idea that maintaining harmony within the group is more important than rationally considering the facts and ideas being discussed. Groups affected by groupthink are more likely to undertake ludicrous actions and patronize other groups (Hassan 2013). There is no room for debate or critical discussion in the group. Consequently, everyone appears to possess the same beliefs because people fear being different from the group.
To answer my question, I originally intended to conduct a focus group to observe whether groupthink occurred. I thought (and still think) a focus group is the most effective way to research the concept of groupthink. However, realistically due to time restrictions I have realised I will not have the time to do so. Between work, university and my personal life, it is unlikely I will have the time to recruit participants and conduct a focus group. As the participants would be fellow university students, they are also likely to be very time poor. It is a big ask to sacrifice their time to participate in a research project.
Instead, I have composed an online survey. I will distribute the survey to my peers in BCM212 via Twitter and my Facebook friends who attend university, not just UOW. It is important to gain insight from university students across different faculties at various universities as it is very possible that groupthink may only occur at certain universities or be more prominent in particular faculties. The survey features questions regarding the concept of groupthink and the participants’ observations and experiences. In order to gain more information, some questions have boxes for students to type their own response to the question. If I gain valuable insights from my initial survey that are worth investigating further, I will compose and release a second survey.
Below is the link to my survey, if you can spare a few minutes please check it out!